History, culture & writing

Explore History, Culture & Writing

Explore our extraordinary range of History, Culture and Writing courses and lectures. We offer both introductory and specialist in-depth courses to suit all levels of interest and experience, from ‘How to read a film’ and World literature, to Creative non-fiction writing courses and American history and Politics courses.

Our tutors are experts in their fields and experienced educators; many have published, teach in universities or share their expertise in the media. Tutors share their knowledge and passion through presentations, readings, interactive discussion and exercises, analysis, and other activities.

Many students return to take more courses, telling us they enjoy being part of our City Lit Learning community.

Our popular courses often sell out quickly, so we invite you to browse and book your place now.

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of courses allowing you to choose between online and in-person learning. All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, we've got the class for you. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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  1. Ways into advanced fiction, poetry and drama: the transition to modernity
    Last Few Places, Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 1 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Hugh Epstein, Patricia Sweeney
    Explore the rewards of close reading analysis, focusing on the three main literary genres of fiction, poetry and drama. Read, analyse and debate works from the early 20th century that represent a transition to modernity. Includes Quicksand (1928) by Nella Larsen, The Cherry Orchard (1903) by Anton Chekhov and poetry by T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, W.B. Yeats, Edward Thomas, Charlotte Mew and Edna St.Vincent Millay.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £71.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. Image and identity: 20th century Chinese art and cinema
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 1 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Meitao Qu
    Explore the art of Chinese artists and filmmakers from the turn of the 20th century to the turn of the 21st, as they try to make sense of a world on the cusp between the old and the new, marked by encounters with imperialism and iconoclasm. Learn what place art had in socio-political movements, and how it reflected the hopes and anxieties of its time.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £71.00
  3. Ways into creative writing: a gentle pace
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 31 May 2023 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Tasha Kavanagh
    Are you brand new to creative writing? Do you want to build your confidence in a supportive environment alongside other beginners? This gentle short-course guides students taking their first steps on the path to becoming a creative writer.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  4. The Odyssey reading group (in translation)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 8 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Justin Murray
    Homer’s epic tale of Odysseus’ journey home after the Trojan War may now be over 2,500 years old but it still has much to tell us about the Ancient Greek world that is still relevant today. Explore this great work in translation.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
    Rating:
    84% of 100
  5. Art history taster
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 18 Jan 2023 (and 4 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Curious about art history? Join us for this taster session where we explore different ways into visual art and its histories, from the ancient to the contemporary.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  6. Creative non-fiction: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 15 Feb 2023 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Lucy Popescu
    This short introductory course explores the core elements of creative non-fiction across genres such as travel writing, the personal essay and life writing.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  7. Introduction to journalism
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 15 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Susan Grossman
    On this course students will explore the basic skills a freelance journalist needs to write and sell news and features to newspapers and magazines. From developing ideas and identifying outlets to interview skills and approaching editors.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  8. Advanced creative non-fiction workshop
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 31 May 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Paul Laffan
    This advanced workshop is designed for students who have already completed introductory and intermediate creative-non fiction courses and would like to focus on workshopping their writing.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  9. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 17 May 2023 (and 6 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Not sure whether creative writing is for you? Give it a try on one of these fun and supportive short courses covering the basics of fiction and poetry. Increase your confidence and produce work through guided exercises and discussion.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  10. The philosophical Hamlet: life, death and everything in between
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Borna Radnik
    Can we ever escape our past? Can we act to change our future? This course examines various philosophical themes through engagement with different philosophical traditions and William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £50.00
  11. Curating and collecting contemporary art in the UK
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Have you ever wondered how works of art and cultural objects have been collected for public museums and galleries in Britain? Who collected these objects? What functions have public collections played in society? Why ‘collect for the nation’?
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00
  12. Short story writing (intensive)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jonathan Barnes
    A fast-paced introduction to the art of writing short stories. In this 6-week course you will receive technical advice, creative exercises to generate ideas, and feedback to develop your writing skills.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
  13. Writing a memoir (continuation)
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Julie Garton
    Some moments in our lives are so powerful they beg to be shared with the world. This continuation course guides students in developing a memoir project that will resonate and inspire.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    88% of 100
  14. 17th century England, revolution and restoration: the Stuart Restoration
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ellen Carpenter
    We will explore society, religion and culture during the Stuart Restoration, with reference to the reigns of the ‘Merry



    Monarch’ Charles II (1660 – 1685) and James II (1685 – 1688).



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £70.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  15. The Golden Age of US Television: 1950s
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Paul Rixon
    This course explores what, for many critics, was the first golden age of US television in the 1950s. For the critics the live anthologies drama series which appeared at this time, such as Kraft Theatre, came to offer acclaimed single plays including Marty (1953) and Twelve Angry Men (1954), by writers such as Paddy Chayefsky and Gore Vidal. For critics, these were a form of well-crafted, intense, claustrophobic television dramas. By the early 1960s these dramas had been replaced by filmed series and serials.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00

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